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Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 9, Issue 2 (June 2011) : 347-61
Victim-Aggressor Duality in Great Expectations

Adina Ciugureanu
Rubric A: Topoi
Rubric B: Dickens

Abstract

 

The article focuses on the aggressor-victim paradigms upon which Dickens builds three of his female characters in Great Expectations: Mrs. Joe Gargery, Miss Havisham, and Molly. Usually described as monstrous, the three characters are here discussed in terms of the hidden motives of their strange behavior, one of the sources of uneasy pleasures in the reading process. Viewed from the feminist standpoint, the representation of the three characters is associated with Victorian views concerning the treatment of women, sexuality, crime, and marriage; viewed in psychological terms, all the three display symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, wit the roles of victim and aggressor shifting over time.


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